Categories
Camponotus singularis

Yellow eggs

Nothing new to report but a picture of the yellow eggs at two days old. Its strange but from all the pictures i have seen of this species eggs, all are a white colour.

Categories
Cataglyphis desertorum

untidy nest

Food carcasses in the nest are beginning to take up room and today
at least one ant has decided to do some house work at last. She is picking up
tiny pieces and dropping them just outside the nest entrance, and returning back
about every 20 seconds with some more bits. Hopefully the trend will catch
on and she will get some help.

This species can climb the glass with difficulty, but just brushing some dry talcum powder around the top will easily cause them to fall back to the bottom. I am using a perpex lid at the moment and the heat from the bulb that sits on the top warps it slightly causing gaps to appear, so some protection against escape is needed. There are now always ants out in the arena and its great fun watching them go about their business, digging in the sand like little terrier dogs. They run around so fast at times they crash into each other which seem to end in minor disputes over who’s fault it was, just like car drivers
Naturally heat would be from above but because i am heating from the bottom i was worried that the ants would try to get lower to escape the heat but they seems to be coping just fine. They obviously know best.

Arena

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Nest front

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Waste

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The ants have been busy cleaning the nest and as you can see they are using nearly half of the arena as a rubbish tip. Its funny because there is one ant that spends alot of her time running back and fro with a grain of sand trying to cover over the rubbish. I will clean this out in the new year.

I have noticed that the ants water has been evaporating from the milk bottle lid. What seems to be happening is that they are building a bridge from sand to get to the top easier. Maybe they find climbing on the surface to difficult but the sand is causing the water to leak out. This is different from[i] Messor barbarus [/i]as they cover their water bowl with sand perhaps in an attempt to hide it.

 

Categories
Camponotus sp

Yellow eggs

Today I could just see one of the workers holding a small
bunch of yellow eggs and the cricket I had previously given them had been
discarded. Photographs are difficult at the moment as the condensation in the nest
is quite high.

Categories
Camponotus sp

All quiet

The larvae and adults have been inactive now for at least a month. I accidently overheated the nest last week and the ants moved out and into the arena taking their larvae with them. After i cooled down the nest they all moved back again, but all remain pretty dormant with the occasional ant comming out to feed on honey water but refusing just about anything else thats offered. I havent seen any new eggs for a while either which i think suggests a winter break even for this tropical species.

Categories
Camponotus singularis

Camponotus singularis

Name:Camponotus singularis
Propagation:Asia
Queen:20-25mm
Workers:10-22mm
Food:Insects and honey water
Air moisture:50-70%
Temperature:20-30°C
Hibernation:No
Nest-building:Soil nests, often under stones
Formicariums:Tank, farm tank
Formicarium size:min. 30x20cm (adjust to colony size)
Particularities:Beautifully coloured, large Camponotus species from Asia. Major workers can reach a substantial size.

These ants arrived on my birthday, what a treat, 1 queen, 4
workers and one larvae. They came in a small plastic box filled with
tissue paper and I placed the box opened in the small arena I had ready with a
2 tier y-tong nest. The substrate consist of half forest chippings and white
sand with the temperature about 22c . I have put a small heat pad against the
nest to provide some extra heat as well as the heat mat beneath the arena.

By next morning the ants had moved out of the box and into
the nest but had left the single larvae behind. The ants had only moved into
the first chamber so I dropped the larvae through the hole but sadly I haven’t
seen it since. I have seen one media drinking
honey water and feeding the queen, they have also been given a cricket and a roach which
the queen in particular was very aggressive towards but i am not sure if anything was eaten.

Categories
Polyrhachis dives

Stick nest ?

I remember reading somewhere that this species builds a stick nest. I’m not at all sure what this means but i have put some very thin twigs about the arena and sure enough the ants have today tried to put them inside the nest. Most of the twigs however are placed over the entrance holes, maybe to obscure light entering the nest or more likely they just couldnt manouvre them into the nest through the holes.

New ants continue to hatch daily and their numbers are growing really fast. The ants are now very active day and night hunting for insects to feed to the larvae, which is given to them after they have cut pieces off rather than give them whole corpses. There seems to be three nurseries for the larvae, the eggs and newly hatched are held in the nurses mouths and suspended mostly from the ceiling out of harms way. The older larvae have their own section and the oldest have another section. The pupae are also distibuted in different areas perhaps to regulate incubation ? but i still havent seen one actually hatching..

 

Categories
Polyrhachis dives

The new home

Today i to moved the colony into the 45 x 45 x 45 Exo terra that i had promised the ants a while ago. The idea for the move was to cool off the original arena and let them move themselves but i got impatient and decided to take out the nest they had built and replace it into the new home.
I gently began to remove the silk from the glass with a razor blade and suddenly out poured the ants all over the place lol. There were alot more than i was expecting. Fortunatly i had dosed the rim with talcom powder which kept them from getting out, so i just quickly tipped them into the Exo terra.

I had put a piece of 1 inch thick polystyrene into the bottom and just pushed in the bamboo and put orchid bark chipping on top. The idea of having the bamboo was to have a woven nest within it and also to give the ants more surface area but the move ended in a huge rush so i ended up reusing the old nest before they ended up all over my house. The Pic was taken before the move, the ants have settled quickly and are busy repairing the old nest.

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Categories
Polyrhachis dives

Always busy

These ants just do not stop, always on the move mostly walking around with their dead ones. I think being aboreal they continue to drop their dead from branches only to keep picking them up again from the floor. I can see no solution to this. They have completely rebuilt their original nest very quickly indeed and continue to grow in numbers. I have had quite a few escapee’s from the viv and despite using vaseline and talcum powder the gaps around the doors dosent keep them all in. Exo terra was a bad choice, so they may have to move again..